BENGALURU: The May assembly elections has brought some cheer to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The Corporation has earned its highest ever revenue during any of the State elections held so far by loaning its buses for poll-related work.BMTC had provided the Election Commission with 1591 non-a/c buses in total for May 11 and May 12. "Of these 1493 buses were used to transport election-related equipment and material across booths spread across the City the previous day while 98 buses were used for police who provided security to them," said a senior Operations official. "The buses camped at different booths for the night and were handed back to us the night after polling was concluded," he said.
With Rs 10,000 being charged a day for a bus, it has been good revenue for the cash-strapped corporation. "We earned a revenue of Rs 3, 18,20,000 totally for both days put together. Charges levied worked out to Rs 50 per kilometre. This is really very good earnings for us," said an official in the commercial department.
According to a top BMTC official,"This has been our best ever election earnings. For the 2013 elections, we gave 1,070 buses on hire and earned Rs 18.054 crore. We had only charged Rs 43 per km then." Seeking more time to provide revenue data on elections held prior to that, an official said,"I can assure you this is the best ever earnings we have got so far from the Election Commission." With the Corporation suffering a loss of Rs 74 lakh per day due to wage hikes and the steep hike in price of High Speed Diesel the last six months, this is definitely good news.
BMTC was also relieved that everything went on smoothly during the two days. "There was no breakdown of buses reported anywhere," said another operations official. " “The Commission had also hired spare buses and drivers from us. But they were not put to use," he said.